Jean Kirstein’s horse face is often a running gag in the Attack on Titan anime. His overly dramatic fights with Eren- due to a lot of personal differences- give viewers relief from all the gore and despair. Jean constantly mocks Eren for wanting to join the Survey Corps and calls him a “Suicidal Maniac” mockingly.
In the first season of Attack on Titan, Jean Kirstein used to prefer an easygoing life working in the Military Police. However, as the show progresses, the intricate depths of his character are revealed. He decides to join the Survey Corps even though he’s extremely terrified to do so.
That’s why it’s deeply interesting to see Isayama talk about how Jean is his favorite character in Attack on Titan.
Why is Jean Kirstein Isayama’s Favourite?
Jean Kirstein is not your typical Shounen Anime protagonist that has no fear and tries to overcome all odds. He speaks his mind without inhibition, and communicates things that others won’t have the guts to do. All the recruits are terrified of the titans and hence, prefer to live cushy lives inside the walls.
However, not many acknowledge their fear and simply act like they don’t care. That’s precisely where Jean differs from many characters in accepting that he’s afraid without being ashamed of it. For this, he derides Eren for being obsessed with murdering every Titan on earth.
Also, he hates Eren for being too close with Mikasa Ackerman, whom he has an unrequited love for. Just like Isayama said in an interview that his blunt honesty and loud mouth is what endears him, it’s probable that this is why we love Jean.
Jean in Attack on Titan: A Good Leader?
Marco Bott was a dear friend and colleague of Jean Kirstein. He once remarked that Jean was a good leader not because he’s fearless but because he’s deeply afraid. This ability to feel fear intensely makes him sympathize with his comrades and subordinates and thus, make better decisions.